Web Survey Bibliography

Title Social Networks of Intensive Internet Users
Year 2002
Access date 12.05.2004
Abstract Much contemporary social research is oriented towards the social impact the Internet has on the life of average citizens. In particular, researchers are often discussing whether the Internet is improving or harming participation in community life and social relationships. The proposed paper contributes to this topic by studying the ego-centered social networks of the Internet users. Ego-centered social networks of intensive Internet users were measured within a national Web survey of Internet users in Slovenia (project RIS – Research on Internet in Slovenia, http://www.ris.org). Respondents were randomly split into four groups. Each group received a name generator for one type of social support provision: instrumental, informational, emotional support or social companionship. Each respondent also received a set of questions regarding alters for each alter they named. Data collection was performed from June to October 2001. Around 250 respondents answered the Web questionnaire for each type of social support provision. The data collected allow estimating the size and the structure of ego-centered networks of intensive Internet users. Analysis shows that the network size differs from the general population, however differences are not found in network composition and structure. Variations across different types of social support provision are mostly insignificant. However, when comparing two sub-networks of respondents, i.e. the Internet sub-network (alters with whom respondents communicate via the Internet) and the traditional sub-network (alters with whom respondents communicate only via traditional means of communication) several interesting variations can be observed. Namely, the composition of the Internet subnetworks is focused on friends whereas in the traditional sub-networks kin are equally represented. The two evaluated sub-networks do not differ in multiplexity of ties, closeness and importance of alters; however they differ in average years alters are known to respondents and in geographical distance to alters (the Internet sub-networks comprise of alters less long known and with higher percentage of alters living far away). The Internet is therefore used to foster communication with strong ties that are somewhat less traditional (more friends, less geographically close, and known for shorter period of time).
Access/Direct link Homepage - conference (abstract)
Year of publication2002
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
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Web survey bibliography - Vehovar, V. (139)

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